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Why do you come? To Kill the King?! – Lammas Magic in a world of powermad Politicians & Villains!

Lammas Sacrifices 2019 v1

Sacrifice of the King / John Barleycorn

“Here we stand at the edges of Lammas – time of Harvest of the corn. Time of enjoying the rewards of all our hard works so far. Time of celebration, and rejoicing for all the good that we already have.

It is also the time of the Harvest God. The seeds of the sacrificial Corn King must fall to the ground so that the land can be fertile again next year.. In farmlands, the first ear of corn from the first harvest is symbolically kept at this time, and ploughed into the land after winter.. the following year!

Why do you come? We ask the people gathering at Lammas.
`To Kill the King,’ people usually answer,

Why the Kill? The Harvest Queen will ask. `To feed the land..,’ the people will say.

`What feeds the land?’ Harvest Queen asks.   King’s party answer: `The blood and Honour of the King’.

“Is the King pure of heart? Does the fire of courage run through his veins? And does he love the land?”

“Yes, yes, yes..!” King will reply.
And the Harvest Queen will say `Then the King is welcome!’

What then ensues is a ceremony, and at the end of which..the `King’ or rather John Barleycorn will kneel at the sacred altar, offering his energy to the land, and the Harvest  Queen/ Goddess *symbolically* cuts him down!!!    John Barleycorn’s body is covered up.  Everyone praised his deeds and mourns his passing. Then he is resurrected.  All then feast and celebrate the Harvest festival.

That’s the old fashioned traditional ceremony.

BUT….!

In these modern times, those old ways, custom and traditions..don’t quite work.. mainly because it’s very hard to find a true responsible, honourable King or Queen. Sad but it’s rare! And we are tired of making painful sacrifices.. again and again.. for the good of the people we love, while outsiders and power-mad villains and politicians benefit from our sacrifices!

For our Lammas ceremony, we have begun to make adaptations!

Sacrificial Kings (c) Mani Navasothy 2015

Do we have to be Jesus..or Odin.. over and over again?

Gone are the symbolic sacrifice of one Volunteer ritualist dressed up in corn and wheat and hay and looking like John Barlycorn.  It’s not his responsibility to accept the projections of all of us..and be the symbolic sacrifice.  Because we all do offer so many of our own sacrifices…day in day out.

What we want is release from all that… It’s all rather very `christian’ and we have to move on from that mindset …that we have to keep suffering in order for other people we love..to live happily..or even ourselves to live well in the future.

(I really don’t see millionaire bankers and corrupt politicians doing all that..do you?!)

So..what we do in our ritual is the following..

corn-king2Magic-1: Personal sacrifice

In this first magic, You will acknowledge all your own painful personal sacrifices of the past – and let them go.   Close your eyes…and be still.

In myth & legends, the concept of personal sacrifice occurs again and again. It is often coupled with some quest and a reward to gain something important.

-The Sacrifice of Odin / the God who hung upon the World Tree – was to gain the secrets and mysteries of the Runes.

-The sacrifice of the Corn King / Barley Corn is for harvest and to renew the energies of the land.

-And on the darker side, Hern sacrificed himself on a Windsor Oak tree, for vengeance and Justice.

Now think about your own lives. Think about your own struggles and challenges and quests, and the sacrifices you keep making..over and over.. again and again.. day after day… months..and months..year after year.

-Take a moment to think about these personal sacrifices..
-Have they produced the rewards?
-Have you got the results you were seeking? If not, why not?

Sometimes, more often, in order for magic to happen, you must let go..
For some new good to come in, the old must be sacrificed.
It must be a willing sacrifice.. You must willingly let go.

  • Take a stone..any stone (that you are willing to loose or let go off).   Hold it in your hands.
  •  Put the energies and memories of all your past  personal sacrifices into this stone. Take your time.  Remember all the key moments..  moments where you gave up something for the well-being or trade-off for something else…(and worse..found it didn’t happen anyway).
  •  Now go to some natural place- a woodland, a flowing stream, sea side, a deep lake..  And throw away this stone..

Magic-2:  Power to Mankind  (Mannaz rune)mannaz rune

Lammas  is a time when the person in power for too long realises their time on the Throne must come to a natural end.  They must step down and let the next good Ruler take that responsibility.   In return the previous ruler can now enjoy personal time – and reel in the service he has given..

BUT there are those who would hold on to power longer for selfish reasons – the Dictators, Conspirators, Manipulators, selfish Kings, Queens, Rulers & corrupt Politicians.

When that happens, it’s the time for people to rise up and depose of those.

So this magic is about us empowering  the people..  here and every where in all the lands.. all over the world!!

This work is simple-  chant the rune that symbolises Mankind –  `Mannaz’.

  • Think of the power of ancient witches and wizards flowing to all the people in difficult circumstances..
  • Let that power permeate all the people.
  • Let the people of the world be strong and empowered, as you chant the Mannaz rune.

Note:   The above are extracts from a community Lammas ritual that my ritual team and community have performed several times in past years, and will be doing so again in a few days at time of Lammas.   Yesterday I was writing it all up (updated) yesterday, writing invocations to Harvest Goddess, and Harvest God. This morning I had a private Hindu ceremony of fire and purification.  And then i thought…why not share this with everyone? So here I am..

Bright Blessings

-Mani Navasothy

Links

Lammas- Hanged man meditation

 

Corn-Kings, Dictators & Lammas Principles

Lammas is one of the 8 agricultural festivals celebrated by modern pagans – in the UK, Europe, America and other countries where pagan practices are observed (and growing).

What’s Lammas? Agriculturally? Magically? What does it mean for the non-pagans.. and for the world at large? These are questions I have asked myself – for being a pagan doesn’t mean socialising and caring for other pagans, but for the whole world- Paganism is all about nature worships, and nature in my book includes all on Earth!

Corn King mask worn at pagan Lammas ritual

Here’s what I wrote about Lammas in my Witchcraft and Magic website for the festival section:

“All that rise shall fall again.. says the popular pagan poetry! The newborn Sun-child of Yule has grown to be a rampant and playful youth and lover at Spring, committed man and husband at Beltane and responsible Sun-King at Midsummer. And at the time of Lammas, at the height of his supreme power, the King steps down- or rather gives up his life force to the land! This is harvest time in the fields, where Corn and other such grain are harvested. John Barleycorn is `baked’ and sacrificed. In God mythology, the God willingly gives himself up and the Goddess cuts him down, so that his blood may feed the land. Though it may sound alarmingly gruesome, this is to be seen in terms of symbolism, and not actual! The spilling of his blood is in fact the falling of the grains and seeds to the ground, that they may produce next year’s crops! Just as the fallen seed sleeps safely within the soil, till winter passes and next spring, so the spirit of the Lammas-King enters the underworld.”

AGRICULTURAL  SYMBOLISM

So effectively, Pagans celebrate the first Harvest of the crops (agricultural)..  harvest of the Corn and wheat!   And traditionally, the first cut of the corns is kept, woven into a Corn-dolly and kept in the house as a symbol, and at the start of the following year’s farming preparations, it is ploughed back into the fields. Thus the energy is returned to the farmland/ field.

In magical rituals, traditionally, one person takes on the role of the `Corn-King’ , and is invoked with those energies, revered, celebrated, and at the culmination of magical ceremony amidst songs and dance- symbolically cut down as a Willing Sacrifice. No, not in the style of some hollywood horror movie. But a designated Priestess (representing the Earth) passes a sickle or knife across the neck (symbolic!!) and the `Corn-King’ falls gently to the ground (in a dramatic way!) He is then covered up by a cloth, and all dance around and `mourn’ the passing of the Corn-King, and his willing sacrifice. Towards the end of the ritual, he is `resurrected’  (pagans don’t like to leave an enacting person `dead’ !)  This is ritual drama – that is all. Cutting off the head, releases the energy of the Corn king, which is needed to replenish the land once more!

MALE MYSTERY

But many years ago, I was having a dialogue with the late Maureen Brown (High Priestess) on these matters, and she discussed the idea of `Every man giving  (not giving up, but giving) his life-forces – the ability to create life. Yes we are talking about the sperms! There are impulses within all biological beings to procreate. But there are also primal instincts of self-preservation. To procreate one must choose to let go of some of those self-preservation instincts – because the Offspring born will eventually grow and rise, to challenge his/her father (parental figure). The next generation can not truly be free until the previous one lets go. The great Oak must fall, so that the acorn in it’s shadow can see new light and grow. The genetic material goes on (in the Offspring), but not the biological entity (father).

So for a man, the sacrifice is the letting go of his life-force, in favour of  his off-spring.  The `corn’   must be cut down, so that its seeds can fall to the ground and crate he next generation of crops. The corn holds the mystery.  And a man must let go of his seeds, so that they may create the offspring. This is the deeper male mystery that many have become oblivious to!    It has been known that in private & personal  magical Lammas rituals,  some Male priests have symbolically `offered’ their owns seeds to the Earth. As we all know, magic can be done with all sorts of body fluids – blood, sweat, urine, and of course sperms!

KINGS & DICTATORS – a special case

On a communal, world front, the Lammas principle is all about someone who has been in power – and serving the land and people- stepping down willingly his or her time has come!) – so that another one who has proved him/her self may take the place of the Ruler!

There is such a thing as holding on to power for it’s own sake – something Dictators are well known for doing!   They do not step down – for whatever reason, and te land and it’s people suffer under such dictatorial rules.  So unless old age, illness or some accident removes those dictators from power – naturally – it is left up to the People ..and rebellions to rise, and over-throw the Dictator!  (In democratic places, this would be some sort of referendum, public poles, elections etc, and in non-democratic countries, this often is outright civil unrest, rebellions, even warped rebellion which is terrorism of groups fighting against tyranny of their own government or rulership!  Here the Robin_hood principle comes into play!)

There are some special cases of people in power – even the `good ones’- holding on to their reign for so long. One must wonder if it is because of fear of their successor not doing a good job, or if it is pure ego.  One example of this that I can see is the Royalty in England at the moment!!

The reluctant King who does not step down – is not limited to royalty, but to other politicians, presidents, military leaders, Board of Directors in Companies, Media bosses…and even community leaders!  Anyone who stays past their time in a position of power and authority of serving or ruling is simply.. tempting the natural order to step in..  and Lammas principle to enter their lives. And it will happen, sooner or later!  (This will happen to all of us, in our own realms and communities, in whatever power and positions we each hold. That must not be forgotten. And yes, I am aware of it. It is why I tend to step down from certain things when I feel my time has come.. and I start to do that quite a few months before Lammas!  That is my way of working this energy!  )

So every time pagans re-enact a Lammas ritual, the cutting down of the Corn King- we are in fact enforcing and strengthening this magical principle – for I have realised, that is how we the people of the land rule and govern our Kings and Dictators – by magic!

In Magic, we trust!

-Mani